21 thoughts on “Bernie’s Israel-Palestine Shondeh – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I was wondering about the definition of ‘progressive Zionist’. If Zionism is so bad that even liberal zionists are horrible, is there anyway of fixing it?
    Can progressive-fascists fix fascism? Can progressive-nazis fix nazism?

    I understand ‘progressive-….’ when one accepts the principles but believe some modifications are needed. But if the foundations are completely flawed, how can progressiveness fix that?

  2. I think Bernie cares more about the American people than he does about Israel, which marks him as a fine candidate for the Presidency.
    American’s need to focus on America, not Israel.

    1. ” I think Bernie cares more about the American people than he does about Israel, which marks him as a fine candidate for the Presidency.”

      It’s really hilarious to see this kind of statement coming from you– the quintessential “Israel firster” when it comes to American politics.

      From what I’ve seen, anyways.

      If Bernie said “we’re not giving Israel any more money” and essentially cut that state off as well as publically denouncing Israeli policy towards the Palestinians and Lebanese– that’d be a good thing for sure.

      That’s not what you’d want in a president, of course.

      ” American’s need to focus on America, not Israel.”

      Again, it’s really hilarious considering that you only say as much in the sense of the whingy “stop bullying Israel!” that we see from Israel and the pro-Israel camp whenever any American on any level criticises Israel in any way.

      You want Americans to give Israel even more of a carte blanche to do what it likes, to ignore its treatment of the Palestinians.

      If Israel were so foolish enough to try and start another war in Lebanon or to attack the Iranians, you’d be howling for massive American support, up to and including going to war for the so-called “Jewish state”.

      1. @Kyle

        First of all, I’m a dual citizen. I believe every country should act in it’s own enlightened self interest.
        Second, whatever country you’re from ,you’ve apparently been caught up in the I/P vortex.
        Third, Israel would survive if America withdrew her $3 billion a year.

        America and Europe need to back out of the Middle East and leave Middle Easterners to work out their grievances, in and among themselves, and not take sides.

        1. @Babar: It’s curious that every right wing hasbara-maven who has ever commented here on this subject has universally said he doesn’t want the U.S.’ $3-billion a year in aid. Of course, everyone who says that knows that there’s not a chance in hell that the U.S. will cut this aid, nor that Israel will ever refuse it. So there’s no harm in saying that you believe something you know won’t happen. However the first minute that President Bernie Sanders says he’s going to consider cutting US aid to Israel the Babar and all the other right wingers who’ve ever commented here will be flooding the comments threads with their loud protest against the reduction of USA to Israel.

          They’ll call the first U.S. peesisent to cut aid an anti-Semite, anti-Israel scumbag. That’s the hypocrisy of their position.

          If America & Europe “backed out of the ME” as Babar suggests and cut all military aid, Israel would either cease to exist or become a unitary Jewish -Palestinian state within 5 yrs. Imagine Israel unable to invade Lebanon or Gaza because we cut off all the bunker busters, cluster bombs, Apache helicopters & F 16s.

          Once the Arab world saw Israel was an emperor with no F-16s, it would only be a matter of time.

          1. Richard, you need to actually read what I’ve said.

            America AND Europe need to back out of the Middle East and not take sides.
            This means no carte blanche for Israel and no pie in the sky promises to the Palestinians that ‘Camelot’ and boundless dignity come with Statehood.
            BTW, who receives more EU aid then the Palestinians? Not Israel.

            America’s enlightened self interest includes selling, but not giving away, arms.
            I didn’t say I didn’t want aid. It is in Israel’s enlightened self interest to accept aid, but that doesn’t mean it requires that same aid to exist. It doesn’t.

            BTW. The Arab world is collapsing and hasn’t never posed less of a threat to Israel.
            Iran and Iran-Hezbollah are Israel’s main threat.

          2. @ Richard
            Not to foget that the US backing out of Middle Eastern affairs would imply stopping the automatic US vetos in the UN 🙂

        2. @Babar:

          You’re saying that you’re a dual citizen between America and Israel?

          Sorry. I think that makes you even less in a position to say “focus on America, not Israel” when it comes to any American politician who is more critical of that state, or otherwise not so slavishly devoted to covering Israel’s ass in the context of Palestine and sometimes Lebanon.

          You say:

          ” I believe every country should act in it’s own enlightened self interest.”

          But it’s fairly clear that you’re strictly referring to the so-called “Jewish state”. I don’t see you supporting the Palestinian National Security forces or the PA government if they decided that it was in the best interests of their people to have the considerable military and police forces at their disposal start to engage the IDF and the Border Police and the “settlers” in combat in response to the Israeli killing and maiming of Palestinians.

          ” Second, whatever country you’re from ,you’ve apparently been caught up in the I/P vortex.”

          This is a site that is primarily about that situation. As a result, my comments here are related to that situation, as opposed to other things that don’t have to do with it.

          ” Third, Israel would survive if America withdrew her $3 billion a year.”

          Can you show me where I said that the Israeli state would collapse if deprived of American aid?

          I said that the Knesset and probably the worst segments of Israeli Jewish society and the “diaspora” in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict would whine and weep and howl about it.

          ” America and Europe need to back out of the Middle East and leave Middle Easterners to work out their grievances, in and among themselves, and not take sides.”

          And again you don’t really see the irony in your sort of commentator on this issue advocating such a thing. You appear to be a hasbara guy through and through so it’s very hard to believe that you actually believe what you just said.

        3. Our citizenship laws do not recognize dual citizenship but the Federal government does not forbid you to have multiple citizenship. Nevertheless, if you have the US citizenship and you are within the USA you are obliged to be 100% loyal to the USA. If you are in the other country that government expects you to be 100% loyal to that state. That is weird to say the least. What if you are in that other country if and when it declares war on the USA or commits an act of war on the USA, will you be called into the armed forces of that other state and if so, will you go? Or immediately volunteer?
          Not likely? That is not the fundamental issue. In a world of nation states you cannot be loyal to two masters and expect that you will never run into trouble.

    1. @ Walter: Thanks for pointing that out. I have no doubt that a Bernie I-P policy would be better than your average Democratic president. But better by how much? And would it do any good to have a slighytly better than average U.S. I-P policy? Would it permit any breakthroughs on the ground in the Middle East? I doubt it. What’s needed is something new, better, completely different.

      1. Thank you Richard, and I agree with you. Maybe more and more people wanting this, particularly so with the millennials as the majority of them don’t have the the same attachment to Israel as many of their older counterparts, Bernie will change the policy. Since Bernie said that he will have a more even-handed policy, we’ll have to remind him of this if he gets elected. One can only hope.

        1. Mr. Sanders is not the first seeker of the US Presidency nor will he be he first President who has promised a “more evenhanded policy” towards Israel and Palestine. I vaguely remember that G.W. Bush promised that too. And Reagan?
          Here is my reasoning why that is a completely empty if not ridiculous policy. Israel has modern armed forces. The Palestinians do not have such a force.

          1. RE: “Mr. Sanders is not the first seeker of the US Presidency nor will he be he first President who has promised a ‘more evenhanded policy’ towards Israel and Palestine. I vaguely remember that G.W. Bush promised that too.” ~ Dieter Heymann

            FROM MY EXTENSIVE ARCHIVES: “Bush and Israel: Unlike his father”, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, NYT International Herald Tribune, 2006

            [EXCERPTS] WASHINGTON — When they first met as U.S. president and Israeli prime minister, George W. Bush made clear to Ariel Sharon that he would not follow in the footsteps of his father.

            The first President Bush had been tough on Israel, especially the Israeli settlements in occupied lands that Sharon had helped develop.

            But over tea in the Oval Office that day in March 2001 – six months before the Sept. 11 attacks tightened their bond – the new president signaled a strong predisposition to support Israel.

            “He told Sharon in that first meeting that I’ll use force to protect Israel, which was kind of a shock to everybody,” said one person present, granted anonymity to speak about a private conversation. “It was like, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?'” . . . [MY GUESS: G. W. Bush’s “conversations with God” – J.L.D.]

            . . . Unlike the first President Bush, who viewed himself as a neutral arbiter in the delicate politics of the Middle East, the current president sees his role now through the prism of the war on terror. This President Bush, unlike his father, also has deep roots in the evangelical Christian community, a staunchly pro- Israeli component of his conservative Republican base. . .

            ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/world/americas/02iht-bush.2363483.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  3. IMHO, Most of the people who are carrying on about this are from the octogenarian Jewish American establishment in their dotage.. Ironically, for them, Sanders’ is not “the right kind of Jew” anyway, and most of them are supporting Hillary to the tune of millions of dollars. The majority of Jewish Americans have come to the conclusion that any further examination of their own belly buttons will only produce ever diminishing returns. Newsflash. Sanders’ isn’t running to be the Mayor of Chelm. He’s running to be President of the United States. The fact that the establishment is surprised that he would identify as an American first, a Jew second, and distance himself from the Israelis and their chronic case of melo-drama, says more about them then it does about the rest of us.

    That said, Sanders has profound disagreements with the current regime over the settlement issue, the two-state solution, and I would imagine over certain anti-democratic iniatives that have become popular as of late in Israel, and does not like Netanyahu personally. I see Sanders support of Israel being of a somewhat more tacit and qualified nature. That is to say that support for Israel’s defense will continue as always. However I imagine diplomatically a Sanders administration is going to be isolationist and is largely going to leave the Israelis to themselves.

    For the Israelis that’s their best case scenario. The worst case scenario as far as the Israelis are concerned, will be a UN resolution condemning the settlements and Sanders, under pressure from his constituency, and because of his Judaism and background, he might feel that he has the moral credibility to do so, (something that has eluded those that came before him), and directs the American Ambassador to abstain.

  4. Regardless of what Bernie’s thoughts and plans are re: the I/P issue, I think it’s very wise of him to not bring up the subject. Does anyone really think it would help his campaign if he came right out and said that, as president, he would stop all financial aid to Israel unless she agrees to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital ? Right – and lose all the Jewish – and Jewish controlled – votes. Yeah, even the so-called ‘liberal Zionists’ – there’s no such thing.

    And, quite frankly, in my opinion this issue should have no place in an American presidential election. Or should we start voting according to a candidate’s views about Russia/Ukraine, China/Taiwan, India/Kashmir, etc. But no, only the Jewish state is relevant when it comes to judging a candidate’s qualifications for president – or any political office, for that matter.

    THAT is an issue that should get a good dose of public attention.

  5. Quote: “He’s essentially a mealy-mouthed liberal Zionist”. What is even worse: he probably does not know how to plant a tree, milk a cow, or harvest oranges. Ergo he is a mealy-mouthed, useless, liberal Zionist.

    1. Pray tell, what do planting trees, milking cows and/or harvesting oranges have to do with the job of president? I do recall G.W. Bush ostensibly clearing brush (at least for the cameras) on his ranchette at Crawford. And, of course, Reagan was famous for splitting wood for the cameras at Rancho del Cielo. Also, a woman was recently elected to the Congress apparently due in large measure to her campaign ad wherein she touted her experience castrating hogs. But for the life of me, I just don’t see these skills (with the possible exception of hog castration) as particularly useful in performing the job of U.S. President.

      That reminds me that I knew an attorney who was elected to Congress in the early 80s who had been a prosecutor, but when he got up to Congress his obligatory Washington-based “image consultant” suggested that he develop an image as a “runner” (something he had rarely indulged in as evidenced by his expanding midriff) . Yuppies were really into running back then, so the idea of a congressman who was a ‘runner’ like them (or like they hoped to eventually be, perhaps next year) was expected to be worth 5 percentage points or more in his reelection (possibly a lot more if the opponent was somewhat in the mold of Chris Christie). Not to mention that everyone assumed runners were really disciplined. They were also assumed to shower regularly. So, the voters would naturally assume ‘the runner’ congressman must also be really dilligent in performing his Congressional duties. Anyway, the runner image really paid fat dividends a few years later when ‘the runner’ congressman got a chance to go on a morning trot with President Reagan. Naturally, this included having a number of nice, official, commemorative photographs taken that were used as the centerpiece of the congressman’s campaign brochures from then on (until the Iran–Contra scandal dulled Reagan’s luster).

      As to Bernie Sanders being “mealie-mouthed”, even assuming his reluctance to dwell on foreign policy issues, he is still by far the least mealie-mouthed of the candidates with the possible exception of Donald Trump (who says many things that I have serious problems with). The backdrop in front of which Marco Rubio often has his photo taken has the following political catchphrases repeated over and over: NEW AMERICAN CENTURY ~ RENEWED AMERICAN VALUES ~ NEW AMERICAN JOBS ~ NEW AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ~ NEW AMERICAN SECURITY ~ RENEWED AMERICAN STRENGTH
      ‘Nuff said?

      I’ve already voted for Sanders, but if it comes down to Clinton and Trump, I might very reluctantly have to vote for Trump (quite possibly while vomiting a little into my mouth), because I think it is possible that he has, at least, a smidgen of integrity. Rightly, wrongly or somewhere in between, I am convinced Hillary Clinton (pretty much like her husband) is completely lacking in integrity [which is why Wall Street adores her, and why I doubt she will do the few things she has promised to do that will benefit the middle and/or lower classes (at least, the middle and/or lower classes here in the U.S.). It is much more likely she might do things to somewhat benefit middle and/or lower classes in Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., but I suspect even then it would be the local oligarchs, plutocrats, dictators, and the largely American multi-national corporations and their associated global oligarchs who would by far benefit the most.

      As to Sanders being a “liberal Zionist”, it’s pretty much a moot issue. Benjamin Netanyahu, Elliott Abrams, Irving Moskowitz, Sheldon Adelson and the Revisionist Zionists have won. Game over. Even Tom Friedman recently admitted that the two-state option is toast. There are simply too many ‘facts on the ground’ to make the two-state option feasable.

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